To sidebar or not to sidebar?

Sidebars are a pretty standard feature when it comes to having a blog, but more and more often, websites are opting to not have sidebars. Over time, we have seen websites evolve and today, sleek and clean is definitely the trend which is great for mobile responsiveness.

So, should your website have a sidebar, and if so, what should your sidebar have? Let’s get into the nitty gritty below (from a teacherpreneur’s perspective of course)

Call to action 

Having a call to action on your side bar is a great way to capture email leads. However, I have found that when I add calls to action to the top and the bottom of blog posts or page content on client’s sites, they are able to gain more subscribers.

Spotlight

Your sidebar is a great place to spotlight any content that might otherwise get lost on your site. Your top blog posts or related posts can feature here – however you can also do this at the end of your blog post – especially if you want your readers to read to the end of your post and not scroll away because they are getting distracted by your sidebar.

Ads

A great place to place your ads is in a sidebar as they then do not totally overwhelm your readers and visitors to your site. However, these can also be advertised effectively at the bottom of your page in your footer area or even in the header of your site. But be careful – ads can make your site look tacky very quickly so make sure that your ads are relevant to your blog and especially your audience.

Value added content 

Have free content that your readers will love? A free resource library? Well a sidebar is a great place to advertise this. Provide useful links to these areas so that your readers can access them easily. If you have a TpT store, your sidebar is also a wonderful place to put your TpT widget or a widget that scrolls through some of your best selling products. But make sure that if these are clickable, that they open in a new page. You don’t want your visitors scrolling permanently away from your site.

So what is my conclusion? Well, at the end of the day, it really is totally up to you but why not the best of both worlds? Not all your pages have to have a sidebar. You can have sidebars on your main blog posts page and have full width content on your pages. That is what I do here on Laine Sutherland Designs.

Laine